Village Treasure Needs to Expand
In 1964, when Sarah Given Larson donated $450,000 to endow a new Given Memorial Library, the population of Pinehurst stood at under 2,000. Now it's about 15,000.
If that tells you anything, it should be that the building housing the library and the Tufts Archives (endowed 10 years later with another $450,000 from the Tufts Foundation) is woefully inadequate to serve the population of such a vibrant and rapidly growing community.
If you doubt that, just pay a visit to the library/archives, located in a nice brick building in the very center of town. Spend a little time walking around inside and checking out the contents, and you'll come away with an unmistakable impression: The place is jammed. It's bursting at the seams.
All of which is to say that the library board seems fully justified in its current energetic campaign to raise $4.6 million for an expansion.
'Yeah, You Need to Grow'
Most people in the village seem to agree. Considering the cost involved and the fact that the municipal government might be asked to chip in $1 million - and the fact that any proposed change in Pinehurst generally tends to bring complainers out of the woodwork - there so far seems to have been little opposition a project of this magnitude.
"On the exit polls we have conducted, everybody was 83 percent in favor of it," says Audrey Moriarty, archives director. "And when we asked for a gift from the village, we expected some opposition. But the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. Everybody says, 'Yeah, you need to grow.'"
This treasured facility is more than a library/archives, as anyone can tell you who has sought assistance on a project from the helpful staff there. It's a cultural center, a museum, and a venue for innumerable events. It routinely welcomes and works with visitors and researchers from other states and other countries.
It Should Fit Right In
We're talking major expansion here - from 8,500 square feet on the main and lower levels to a total of 24,000. Though there had been some talk at one point of adding a second floor, that's not happening. Tasteful additions on each end will house a children's wing and an expanded archives space. The building won't intrude on the hallowed Village Green or on the memorial area that includes the stone marking the spot where James Walker Tufts waved his magic wand to set the village project in motion 117 years ago.
To minimize disruption, work won't begin until just after the back-to-back U.S. Open and U.S. Women's Open to be played in Pinehurst in 2014. Architect Alan Stagaard and the others involved in lovingly creating the design have taken care to make sure that the newly enlarged structure will continue to fit cozily into its surroundings.
The drawings indeed suggest that, once the project is finished and the new landscaping has had a chance to settle in, future visitors might well assume the thing has been sitting there for a hundred years.
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